Darius Rucker Celebrates Ninth No. 1 Song With “For The First Time”

Pictured (L-R): songwriter Scooter Carusoe, Darius Rucker, songwriter Derek George. Photo: Ed Rode

Capitol Records Nashville artist Darius Rucker celebrated his ninth No. 1 country single, “For the First Time,” with a party at performing rights organization ASCAP’s Nashville office on Wednesday (Oct. 17).

ASCAP’s Mike Sistad led the celebration, in conjunction with First Tennessee Bank, honoring Rucker as well as “For The First Time” songwriters Scooter Carusoe, Derek George and producer Ross Copperman.

“The first time I heard it, I just knew this was the biggest smash ever,” Copperman said. “Derek sent me this demo and he sent me a lot of tracks to use so I thank him for that. Darius is one of my musical heroes so it’s an honor to work with him.”

Derek George has 25 years in music business, with hits spanning three decades as songwriter producer and publisher. In the past six years, produced eight top 10 hits, with five hitting No. 1. This is Derek’s third No. 1 as a songwriter.

“Alicia Pruitt set this write up and she is like my soul sister,” Derek said. “I want to thank Darius for liking the song and singing the crap out of it. Ross you make incredible records. Travis you know I love you man and I’m so happy to be here. Capitol thanks for working this song so hard on the charts.”

Scooter Carusoe, part of the Nashville music community for 20+ years, celebrates his fifth No. 1 as a writer and 15th No. 1 as a publisher with “For The First Time.”

Carusoe said, “I got an email from Alicia saying, ‘Hey do you want to fly to Charleston and write some songs with Darius Rucker?’ No, I don’t want to do that,” he laughed. “I could be putting nail in a roof or something.’ I say that jokingly, because what a blessing it is to do this job for a living, and specifically on this song and with these guys.”

Pictured (back row L-R): Warner/Chappell Vice President of A&R BJ Hill, ASCAP Senior Creative Director Mike Sistad, Capitol Records VP Promotion Bobby Young, UMG Nashville VP Promotion David Friedman, Carnival Music’s Frank Liddell, Rezonant Music Publishing CEO Tim Wipperman, Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville President/CEO Troy Tomlinson; (front row L-R): songwriter Scooter Carusoe, Darius Rucker, songwriter Derek George. Photo: Ed Rode

Since Rucker released his first country album in 2008, he has earned four trips to the top of the country albums chart. In 2014, he earned a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance for “Wagon Wheel.”

Among those in attendance were Troy Tomlinson from Sony/ATV, Rezonant’s Tim Wipperman, Carnival Music’s Frank Liddell, and David Friedman from Capitol Records Nashville. Sony/ATV also made a donation to MusiCares on behalf of the songwriters.

“Ten years ago, Hootie [& the Blowfish] decided to take a break and I decided it was time to make my country record,” recalled Rucker. “ I say this every time I’m up here, but I’ve been on labels that you don’t want to be on before, and every day, I thank God I’m on Capitol Records. I’m 52 years old and you guys still fight for me like I’m that new kid and you want to break my first record. To my publishing partners, you guys allow me to write songs for a living. What is better than that? Ross, you made a great record. When I say you made a great record, there’s a reason my records don’t say ‘Produced by Ross Copperman and Darius Rucker.’ I don’t know shit. I show up and I sing and you made a great record. I can’t wait until we get to do it again.

“Charles Kelley [of Lady Antebellum] called me when this song went No. 1 and said, ‘Darius, this never gets old does it?’ I said, ‘No, number ones never get old, ever.’”


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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